RSA 265:143a Drivers to Exercise Due Care When Approaching a Bicycle, If passing a bicyclist, leave a reasonable and prudent distance. That must be at least 3 feet when the passing vehicle is traveling at 30 miles per hour or less and one extra foot for every 10 MPH over 30 miles per hour.
Concord: Sharrow on Warren St.
Shared Lane Use markings
This type of marking belongs in the the travel lane, not the shoulder. See MUTCD Figure 9C-9 on P. 815.
This Shared Lane Use marking on Warren Street in Concord indicates that persons traveling on bicycles may use the full lane since the travel lane isn't wide enough for a motor vehicle to pass a bicycle anyway. Persons traveling on bicycles may use the full travel lane anywhere in order to prepare to make a left turn, avoid debris near the gutter, avoid opening doors of parked cars, avoid an exclusive right turn lane, and for many other causes enumerated in RSA 265:144, XI.
Durham: Sharrow on Main St.
Shared Lane Use Marking - Main St. Durham
The Shared Lane Use marking indicates to all vehicle operators that the lane is only wide enough to accommodate one vehicle at a time and cyclists may need to "claim the lane." Whether or not there is a marked bicycle lane, cyclists should not operate so close to parked cars that opening doors may hit them. While parked drivers who fail to obey RSA 265:96 by opening a vehicle door into a cyclist's path may receive a small fine, cyclists should consider that passengers, too, could open car
doors without warning. The results of a "dooring" crash will be catastrophic. Watch the WMUR backstory of a dooring crash in Durham.
"I AM TRAFFIC" hosts an interactive graphic that helps motorists and cyclists judge when a traffic lane can not simultaneously accommodate a motor vehicle and a bicycle.
Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Operation Pamphlet
This pamphlet summarizes the rules for bicyclists and motorists in the State of New Hampshire.
General Rules for Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Motorists
Bicyclists and motorists must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, whether the crosswalk is marked or not. (See RSA 259:17 for the definition of a crosswalk.)
Bicyclists and motorists must use due care around pedestrians at all times (RSA 265:37).
Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. Bicycles are vehicles (RSA 265:143).
The safer lane position in general for a prudent bicyclist might surprise you.
Avoid the "door" zone of parked cars, even when a bike lane is marked in this area. Take the full lane when your safety depends on it (RSA 265:144,XI(d)).
Sharrows along NH 120 in Hanover.
Cyclists must keep right? Not necessarily according to RSA 265:144. There are many common operational situations where cyclists must claim the lane for their own safety, including:
- When overtaking and passing another bicycle or any other vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
- When preparing for or making a left turn at an intersection or into a driveway.
- When proceeding straight in a place where right turns are permitted.
- When necessary to avoid hazardous conditions, including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, broken pavement, glass, sand, puddles, ice, or opening doors of parked vehicles.
Other drivers - and even officers of the law - may not understand why you must claim the lane for your own safety. Remain respectful to all while advocating for your own safety and negotiating for the space that you require. A cyclist posted a video on Youtube showing this common misunderstanding with a bicyclists safety and operational requirements.Wear bright clothing. Reflective clothing is required at night (RSA 265:144,XII).
Wearing a helmet can prevent a head injury. A helmet is required for those under 16 years of age (RSA 265:144,X).
When passing another cyclist on the road, make your presence known by calling out "On your left" as you approach.
Rules of the Road Summary
Pedestrians' Rights and Duties (RSA 265:41)
Drive your bicycle on the side of the road with other traffic. (RSA 265:16)
If driving bicycles two or more abreast unnecessarily impedes the flow of traffic, drive your bicycle Single File (RSA 265:144,V).
Use a light for night bicycle driving (RSA 266:86)
Maintain your brakes in good condition (RSA 266:88)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Everyone is a Pedestrian website.
New Hampshire Department of Transportation Driving Toward Zero program has set a goal of zero highway fatalities.
The League of American Bicyclists recommends a specific goal of zero cyclist and pedestrian fatalities.
Promote accountability and an evidence-based approach when referring to highway crashes.
RoadPeacepromotes the use of accurate and constructive terminology when describing all incidents involving all highway-related property damage, injury and death.
Picture credit: League Cycling Instructor Michael Hurst of Windham. Used by permission. (Ocean Boulevard in Hampton following a crash that killed two bicyclists on September 21, 2013.)
League of American Bicyclists' "Smart Cycling" program instructional videos.
The Bostonbikes.org Urban Cycling Quiz.
This article from Law Enforcement magazine (July 2013) may help bust some myths about bicycle traffic and explains why cyclists operate as they do...